On December 24, not only did I celebrate my 23rd birthday, but I also celebrated 4 months in Kenya. Even though I am now one-third of the way finished with my fellowship, the prospect of being here for eight more months is pretty daunting. However, I do have some pretty exciting things coming up over the next few months: My friend Abby and her mother are visiting me at the end of February and the Princeton in Africa Retreat is coming up in mid-March. Now onto what I’ve been up to these last few weeks…
Over the holiday break, Meyris and Regine, two PiAf fellows working in Tanzania and Malawi, respectively, visited me. Showing them around Nairobi and viewing the city from their eyes was a refreshing experience. Nairobi also seemed a little bit more magical than usual because the normal hustle and bustle also took a vacation. Walking through the semi-empty city allowed me to feel a little bit more ownership over Nairobi as my adopted-home. I also had less fear about crossing the street.
During their visit, we ventured to the top of the Kenya International Conference Centre, bargained at the large Masai Market in the Central Business District, endured the overwhelming Toi Market to beef up our wardrobes, and went on a game drive at Nairobi National Park. In between our big excursions, we blasted Afrobeats songs in my apartment and shared the biggest hits in each of our countries–#TeamNaija seems to be popular everywhere.My personal favorite is “Pana” by Tekno. (This song has me out here wishing my name was Faloke.)
Regine and Meyris also helped me celebrate my 23rd birthday. We met up with friends to have dinner at Talisman, one of the best restaurants in Nairobi. Later, my friend Jessica and I tried to show them a typical night out in Nairobi. Sadly, because so many people have left the city for their hometowns or the beaches of Mombasa, the nightlife was not as banging.
I spent the latter part of my break in Dar-Es-Salaam and Zanzibar. Within five minutes of landing in Dar, I was over the humidity and knew exactly why Nairobi’s dry heat seemed magical to Meyris.
Spending New Years in Zanzibar was truly something. Even though the beaches were gorgeous, there were a couple of mishaps to detract from my vacation. Literally two minutes into 2017, I get hit in the eye with debris from a beach fireworks display. While it’s a funny story now, I certainly wasn’t expecting my 2017 to start with a literal bang. Oh well, this year can only get better from there.
I know this a short post, but I promise to have another update soon(ish) featuring photos of my adventures, book suggestions, my favorite Afrobeats songs, and how the rest of January is going.
In the meantime, you can read my PiAf Fellows Flier!